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Keep sports nutrition products VAT free! ***Petition***

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Post on TSR and win a prize! Find out more... 10-04-2014
  • View Poll Results: Should there be a tax added to sports nutrition products?
    Yes, it makes sense to tax sports nutrition products.
    45.00%
    No, this is madness, this is England.
    55.00%

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    The Government has announced plans to put VAT on sports nutrition products which are not currently taxed. If this change takes place it will mean that the price of many popular products that help your training and exercise programme will rise by 20% from October 1st.

    Any sensible person would be against this move. As a country we are well on our way to an obesity crisis, and yet the government wants to raise the costs of nutritional products that help keep people fit, healthy and active.

    Please click here to sign a petition against this madness.

    The more people that sign this petition, the stronger the signal to Government that the hundreds of thousands of people who consume sports nutrition products in the UK are determined to make their voices heard. So please sign this petition and also spread the word via facebook, forums etc.

    Vote on the poll, do you think it's at all logical to add VAT to these products?
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    I think VAT is broadly a bit of a silly tax, but I don't really see why sports nutrition products should not be VATable.

    Still, it'll annoy me when they go up in price by 20%!
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    I don't understand why there was no VAT in the first place. I think there should be no VAT on essentials, sports nutrition is not essential- not even if you are trying to get fit. If our concern is getting fat people health then you probably mostly need to argue for better education. Which is to say the argument of the petition seems neither logical or intuitively factually correct. If it were to provide evidence I'd happily reconsider but just now it just seems like some people who don't want their shakes to cost more making up a crap argument to justify it
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    (Original post by BKS)
    I don't understand why there was no VAT in the first place. I think there should be no VAT on essentials, sports nutrition is not essential- not even if you are trying to get fit. If our concern is getting fat people health then you probably mostly need to argue for better education. Which is to say the argument of the petition seems neither logical or intuitively factually correct. If it were to provide evidence I'd happily reconsider but just now it just seems like some people who don't want their shakes to cost more making up a crap argument to justify it
    I just feel it's a step in the wrong direction. Anything related to fitness should, in my opinon, not be taxed. Now I'm no economist so don't fame me if this isn't logical, but shouldnt we be making ****ty junk food and mars bars more expensive, and healthy items be it apples, protein shakes or running shoes a bit cheaper to try and encourage a bit more activity?
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    (Original post by mikestraws)
    I just feel it's a step in the wrong direction. Anything related to fitness should, in my opinon, not be taxed. Now I'm no economist so don't fame me if this isn't logical, but shouldnt we be making ****ty junk food and mars bars more expensive, and healthy items be it apples, protein shakes or running shoes a bit cheaper to try and encourage a bit more activity?
    I think fruit and veg and such healthy foods need to be as cheap as sustainable. Everyone should be eating more things like that, I consider that essential. But the level of fitness we need people to achieve to not be a burden on the NHS doesn't involve protein shakes or proper running trainers. We just need people to do something like 30mins walk 5 days a week. Running marathons or working on your sprint time to weightlifting or whatever is either a life style choice or a leisure activity, depending on how you view it. It's when you are doing things like that you find the need for shakes and proper running shoes. So asking not to have VAT on those thinks is effectively asking the government to subsidise a life style choice or a leisure activity when we have plenty more important things to be dealing with

    But even with that you still need education and hopefully that'll eventually lead to cultural change.

    More expensive junk food is a bit of a chicken and egg problem that I don't know the answer to. The people who eat a lot of that crap are people who are poor. If you raise the price of the food they eat without changing their food culture at the same time then you are just going to make it so they struggle for money even more. People aren't totally rational, they don't just buy what's cheapest, the way people eat is very culturally embedded.
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    Obese people get medical treatment at the expense on us healthy tax payers, yet our nutritional products are going to increase in price
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    I've voted yes they should be taxed; they're not essential items. I agree that as a nation we need to be fitter but are the people who use sports nutrition products going to stop training and start leading a totally sedentary lifestyle if they become 20% more expensive? Most likely not.

    However, if they do start being taxed I'd like to see the revenue used to decrease of subsidise the costs of essential healthy food - I realise that this would be a pretty massive cost though, so perhaps maybe subsidizing/reducing the cost lean protein that everyone should eat (as opposed to just the people who train hard enough to warrant using sports nutrition). Having said, I don't know if this is planned, so whilst I'm not signing the petition, I'm not going to be actively lobbying for the tax increase either.
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    (Original post by pinda.college)
    Obese people get medical treatment at the expense on us healthy tax payers, yet our nutritional products are going to increase in price
    Terrible argument implying that overweight people or smokers should not get nhs treatment, don't even go there.
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    (Original post by BKS)
    I think fruit and veg and such healthy foods need to be as cheap as sustainable. Everyone should be eating more things like that, I consider that essential. But the level of fitness we need people to achieve to not be a burden on the NHS doesn't involve protein shakes or proper running trainers. We just need people to do something like 30mins walk 5 days a week. Running marathons or working on your sprint time to weightlifting or whatever is either a life style choice or a leisure activity, depending on how you view it. It's when you are doing things like that you find the need for shakes and proper running shoes. So asking not to have VAT on those thinks is effectively asking the government to subsidise a life style choice or a leisure activity when we have plenty more important things to be dealing with

    But even with that you still need education and hopefully that'll eventually lead to cultural change.

    More expensive junk food is a bit of a chicken and egg problem that I don't know the answer to. The people who eat a lot of that crap are people who are poor. If you raise the price of the food they eat without changing their food culture at the same time then you are just going to make it so they struggle for money even more. People aren't totally rational, they don't just buy what's cheapest, the way people eat is very culturally embedded.
    Yeah legitimate points to be honest. Education really is the key behind all of this and I feel it is our biggest downfall. Maybe they are doing more in schools now, but I remember when I was there even in PE we were taught nothing about the benefits of proper nutrition and the pitfalls of poor nutrition, nothing at all.
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    (Original post by Persephone9)
    I've voted yes they should be taxed; they're not essential items. I agree that as a nation we need to be fitter but are the people who use sports nutrition products going to stop training and start leading a totally sedentary lifestyle if they become 20% more expensive? Most likely not.

    However, if they do start being taxed I'd like to see the revenue used to decrease of subsidise the costs of essential healthy food - I realise that this would be a pretty massive cost though, so perhaps maybe subsidizing/reducing the cost lean protein that everyone should eat (as opposed to just the people who train hard enough to warrant using sports nutrition). Having said, I don't know if this is planned, so whilst I'm not signing the petition, I'm not going to be actively lobbying for the tax increase either.
    Yeah makes sense. I don't know if it's justified to make "unhealthy" foods more expensive ad "healthy" foods cheaper or not - you could argue that making mc donalds more expensive is unfair to people who keep a perfectly healthy and active lifestyle who just fancy a mcdonalds. I guess it works the same with making "healthy" foods cheaper. A pipe dream? Sounds more and more like it lol.
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    (Original post by mikestraws)
    Yeah makes sense. I don't know if it's justified to make "unhealthy" foods more expensive ad "healthy" foods cheaper or not - you could argue that making mc donalds more expensive is unfair to people who keep a perfectly healthy and active lifestyle who just fancy a mcdonalds.
    I guess that's true, but someone on another thread has pointed out that ultimately those people still benefit due to the savings they make on the healthier food being greater than the increased cost of the unhealthy food, as the healthier food makes up a much larger portion of their diet. But then how do they decide what foods are healthy and which are not, with so many foods that are largely fine in moderation (unless there was some sort of multi-level taxation system with the healthiest foods at 0% increasing to the least healthy at 20-30% or something?).

    I'm not 100% sure to be honest, perhaps the money would be better spend on educating people to make healthier choices in the first place, rather than making the foods they want prohibitively expensive.
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    (Original post by RawJoh1)
    I think VAT is broadly a bit of a silly tax, but I don't really see why sports nutrition products should not be VATable.

    Still, it'll annoy me when they go up in price by 20%!
    The implementation seems really dumb. Weight loss meal replacement drinks are VAT free but sports nutrition drinks are not. Lord knows who decides which is which if they end up having almost exactly the same stuff in them. Hell for half the people who use it whey protein is a weight loss MRP. If you're saying you disagree with the argument that this will increase obesity, then yeah I'm with you. And yeah, whether or not food is taxed seems almost arbitrary so I don't think it's a horrible idea in principle. I signed the petition just because it may piss me off down the road to have to pay more, but the proposal itself is stupid.
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    (Original post by The Troll Toll)
    The implementation seems really dumb. Weight loss meal replacement drinks are VAT free but sports nutrition drinks are not. Lord knows who decides which is which if they end up having almost exactly the same stuff in them. Hell for half the people who use it whey protein is a weight loss MRP. If you're saying you disagree with the argument that this will increase obesity, then yeah I'm with you. And yeah, whether or not food is taxed seems almost arbitrary so I don't think it's a horrible idea in principle. I signed the petition just because it may piss me off down the road to have to pay more, but the proposal itself is stupid.
    Agree with all of this, wasn't aware that slimfast drinks etc were VAT free.
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    (Original post by The Troll Toll)
    Weight loss meal replacement drinks are VAT free but sports nutrition drinks are not. .
    wtf? VAT is ****ed up
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    As far as I'm aware the problem with VAT is it has never been systematically reviewed. So we have decades of decisions taken for all different reasons by all different people in all different contexts. There's no chance of it making any sense. It'd make sense to set up some commission to go through everything which could be VAT'd and work it all out again. But that's not very politically attractive. First because I don't think the electorate care much and it isn't creating practical problems. Second because the outcome will either be more or less taxation, it staying the same is pretty unlikely given quite a bit would be expected to change. More tax is hard to sell to the electorate. Less tax means less budget. The government doesn't really want either outcome.

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Updated: April 13, 2012
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